ISSN 2398-2985      

Roundworm infection

Jreptile

Introduction

  • Cause: infection with roundworms: Paraspidodera uncinata (guinea pig roundworm), roundworms found in dogs and cats can affect ferrets (eg Toxascaris leonina, Toxocara cati), reptiles may be affected by oxyurids and ascarids.
  • Signs: low burdens may be asymptomatic, heavy burdens may lead to weight loss and gastrointestinal signs, eg diarrhea, anorexia, dehydration. In reptiles, oxyurids are considered commensal in low numbers.
  • Diagnosis: fecal parasitology (flotation, direct smear), identification of adult worm in feces/ vomitus.
  • Treatment: fenbendazole, ivermectin (not chelonians, skinks, or indigo snakes), levamisole.
  • Prognosis: usually good with treatment and addressing the environment.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

Predisposing factors

General

Pathophysiology

  • Roundworms may have a direct or indirect lifecycle.
  • Roundworm infections in most species are often subclinical but in heavy burdens clinical signs may be seen due to irritation of the gastrointestinal tract.
  • In snakes, Ophidascaris spp infest the gastrointestinal tract, often causing abscesses .
  • Rhabdias spp are known as lungworms in snakes and lizards because they migrate to the lungs and can cause respiratory signs Lower respiratory tract disease.

Epidemiology

  • May see outbreaks of disease in groups with parasites with a direct lifecycle, from contamination of the environment.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Tang P K, Pellett S, Blake D & Hedley J (2017) Efficacy of a topical formulation containing Emodepside and Praziquantel (Profender® Bayer) against nematodes in captive tortoises. J Herpetol Med Surg 27 (3), 116-122 BioOne.

Other sources of information

  • Eatwell K & Hedley J (2019) Parasitology In: BSAVA Manual of Reptiles. 3rd edn. Eds: Girling S J & Raiti P. BSAVA, UK. pp 411-442.
  • McArthur S M, McLellan L & Brown S (2004) Gastrointestinal System. In: BSAVA Manual of Reptiles. 2nd edn. Eds: Girling S J & Raiti P. BSAVA, UK. pp 213.

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